Sensitivity labeling now built into Office apps for Windows to help protect sensitive information

September 10, 2019
The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community Security, Privacy and Compliance Blog.

Microsoft Information Protection solutions help you better protect your sensitive information, wherever it lives or travels – across devices, apps, cloud services and on-premises. Our goal is to provide a consistent and comprehensive approach to discovering, classifying, labeling and protecting sensitive data.

Earlier this year we released built-in sensitivity labeling in Office apps for Mac, iOS and Android. These capabilities enable users to easily apply sensitivity labels to documents and emails – based on the policies defined by your organization. The built-in labeling experiences are integrated directly into Office apps – there’s no need for any special plugins or add-ons.

We’re expanding to additional Office apps, and now sensitivity labeling is available in Office apps for Windows. With this release, end-user driven sensitivity labeling is now available in:

  • New! Office for Windows: Word, PowerPoint, Excel & Outlook
  • Office for Mac: Word, PowerPoint, Excel & Outlook
  • Office mobile apps for iOS: Word, PowerPoint & Excel (Outlook coming soon)
  • Office mobile apps for Android: Word, PowerPoint & Excel (Outlook coming soon)

The labeling experience in Office apps for Windows is similar to the labeling experience on other platforms – making it easy and familiar for your end-users. Once you define and configure your sensitivity labels and policies, the same labels are published out and made available across the supported Office apps.

The screenshots below show examples of the end-user experience in Office apps for Windows. Users select the Sensitivity drop-down menu to view the available labels and select the appropriate label. The experience is similar across Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

clipboard_image_1.pngApply sensitivity labels in Office apps for Windows – your label policy will apply the configured protection actions, such as encryption, rights restrictions or visual markings.

clipboard_image_2.pngApplying sensitivity labels in Outlook for Windows is a similar experience.

clipboard_image_3.pngAn email labeled “Highly Confidential” in Outlook for Windows get encrypted, and headers & footers are applied.

Getting started

Similar to publishing labels for use in other Office apps, you need to first configure your organization’s sensitivity labels in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center or the Microsoft 365 Compliance center. If your organization has sensitivity labels configured in the Azure portal for Azure Information Protection, you will first need to migrate your labels to the Microsoft 365 Compliance center, and then the labels can be used by the supported Office apps. You can find more information on migration steps here.

You can also learn more about sensitivity labels in our documentation, and additional details on supported Office apps is including in this article. Sensitivity labeling in Office apps for Windows is rolling out now to customers who have Office 365 E3 or E5 (built-in sensitivity labeling is supported on the Office 365 Pro Plus version of Office), and the rollout is expected to be completed by the end of September or October, 2019.     

    

We’re excited to expand sensitivity labeling to Office for Windows, enabling more comprehensive protection of sensitive information across your environment. We plan to release sensitivity labeling in the Office apps for the Web and Outlook mobile soon. Please check the Microsoft 365 roadmap for the latest information.

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